Fire Chief at Oversight Hearing Wednesday

D.C. Fire and EMS Head Keith Ellerbe facing scrutiny after new report

Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012  |  Updated 8:58 PM EDT
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D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe denies sex harassment accusations from previous job. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

Darcy Spencer

D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe denies sex harassment accusations from previous job. News4's Darcy Spencer reports.

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D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe will appear at a District hearing Wednesday to discuss his agency's performance.

The meeting, held in the Wilson Building, is a routine oversight review of Fire and EMS service.

However, it comes one day after the Washington Times released a story alleging an abbreviated review process for Ellerbe when he was made chief in 2011.

The Times writes:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray hired and the D.C. Council confirmed Kenneth Ellerbe to head the District’s fire department without ever requesting a copy of his personnel file from the chief’s former employer in Sarasota County, Fla. — a file that contained a complaint of sexual harassment.

The Times story says no one from Vince Gray's staff or the City Council committee charged with vetting agency nominees requested a copy of Ellerbe's personnel file from Sarasota County, where he headed the fire department for 16 months prior to becoming chief in D.C.

The Times said paperwork made public via a Freedom of Information document a complaint against Ellerbe in which a female employee accused him of leering at her.

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